When there are so many baby products to choose from, how do new parents determine what they really need? What should they put on their baby registry? And how can friends and family members know which gifts will truly be practical and appreciated?
To narrow down the innumerable options and make the shopping process less overwhelming, I’ve curated a list of 20 baby shower gifts, sorted by category, that are sure to be loved by any parents-to-be. The items that made the cut are ones my friends and I found most useful as new parents.
For those of you hosting or planning a baby shower, head over to this post next for some unique game ideas.
Baby Shower Gifts for the Baby
1. Magnetic Clothing
Available in a variety of colors and patterns, outfits by Magnetic Me can be worn around the clock. On both the onesies and two-piece sets, the enclosure is fully magnetic—no frustrating buttons or snaps to mess with during those middle-of-the-night diaper changes.
Many different brands make swaddles in a variety of styles, but I adore the ones by Love to Dream. Unlike the traditional swaddle design, which keeps baby’s arms down, the Love to Dream version allows baby’s hands to be near their face. The larger sizes also have zip-off “wings” to help transition baby from a swaddle to a sleep sack down the road.
For pacifier-loving babies, the WubbaNub will be love at first sight. This stuffed-animal pacifier can calm our one-year-old better than any other product, hands down. Available in an assortment of cute animals, WubbaNubs are adorable and much bigger than traditional pacifiers, making them harder to lose.
4. Stay-Put Shoes
Although baby won’t be walking any time soon, it’s still important to keep those tiny feet covered and protected when out and about. Brands like Robeez and Zutano create shoes that are specifically designed to stretch and accommodate any baby’s feet—and then stay on!
5. Health Care Essentials Basket
If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a parent, it’s that you should always have some medicine on hand. Gifting an assortment of health care necessities is a great way to make sure new parents are prepared for the inevitable. Things like gas drops, saline spray, and a nasal syringe (like the NoseFrida or this one by NeilMed) are certain to be needed at some point. For peace of mind in case of a fever, add a thermometer and infant Tylenol, and if you really want to make the basket complete, throw in the Zoli BUZZ B electric nail trimmer, which will safely file baby’s nails without clipping any surrounding skin.
Baby Shower Gifts for the Home
6. Wi-fi Camera
Traditional baby monitors serve their purpose when the parents are at home, but using a small wi-fi camera as a monitor instead will allow parents to check on their little one if they’re not at home. Most cameras pair with apps that parents can install on various devices, so it’s easy to take a quick peek on any phone or tablet, whether at home or on the go.
7. Sound Machine
A quality sound machine is a must for many new parents. Our family uses this adorable owl model made by Skip Hop. We love it because it’s a sound machine and nightlight wrapped into one, and the sound can run all night if you want it to, which we do! I’ve heard moms rave about the Dohm, which plays white noise at two different speeds, and the Hatch, which also serves as a nightlight and can be controlled from a phone.
8. Portable Diaper Caddy
Setting up a changing station in the nursery is a no-brainer, but many new parents may not realize the need for a portable diaper changing station as well. A diaper caddy can be easily carried to any room and has space for diapers, wipes, ointment, hand sanitizer, and whatever else a parent might want to have handy. For storing wipes, I highly recommend the OXO wipes dispenser, which has a weighted plate, ensuring that only one wipe is pulled out at a time.
9. Baby Tub
During the first few weeks, a baby may only need sponge baths. But after that, a tub made specifically for infants can be a life-changer. This cute whale-shaped tub has a hook for easy storage and a drain; this design makes it super convenient to place the bathtub on the counter while in use then empty over the sink when finished. It also includes a removable mesh sling, which provides cradling support for the baby until they can sit.
I highly recommend that all parents have a cool-mist humidifier on standby in case baby gets congested. This model by FridaBaby doubles as a diffuser and can be used with any therapeutic-grade essential oils (provided they’re safe for baby!). An added bonus: it comes with a lifetime warranty!
Baby Shower Gifts for On-the-Go
11. Backpack Diaper Bag
The last thing a parent needs while toting an infant around is a diaper bag that constantly slides off their shoulders. A backpack-style diaper bag is a practical, stylish, and often gender-neutral choice that frees up both arms. If none of the “official” diaper bag backpacks are quite right, you can find a regular backpack with lots of great compartments that you know will be perfect for the soon-to-be parent in your life. For some extra surprises inside, include wet bags for storing soiled clothes or cloth diapers while out of the house, a portable sound machine for those naps on the go, and a travel wipes dispenser. For more diaper bag essentials, read this blog post.
12. Baby Wrap/Carrier
New parents will adore keeping their precious baby close by while they move around. A soft, flexible wrap makes that possible and is especially helpful if the baby is too little for a structured carrier. Newborns often love nursing and falling asleep while snuggling up!
13. Travel Chair
A space-saving substitute for a traditional highchair is a hook-on chair that can attach to almost any table or counter for use at home, restaurants, or friends’ homes. Easy to wash and transport, these chairs are more sanitary than restaurant high chairs or booster seats. An unexpected bonus I’ve appreciated is that children can’t push themselves away from the table when secured in this type of seat.
14. Shopping Cart Hammock
Lugging an infant car seat into stores can be tough. A stretchy shopping cart hammock permits parents to carry only the baby in and place them in a safe, cozy place where they can have a full view of Mama or Dada while strolling through the aisles.
15. Clip-on Fan
Perfect for rides in the car and stroller, a clip-on fan will keep baby nice and cool in any situation. Foam blades and a flexible neck make it easy to safely direct air flow wherever desired.
Baby Shower Gifts for the Mama-to-be
16. Memory Book
Every new parent needs a place to keep record of favorite baby photos and moments. There are several great options for memory books on the market; I especially adore the ones made by Mushybooks. Modern and neutral, these books highlight a child’s first year in a simple, visually appealing way.
17. Personalized Nursery Decor
Gifting an item that is personalized with baby’s name can be a great way to express your thoughtfulness. Some personalized gift ideas are wooden blocks that spell out baby’s name, a customized piggy bank, or a handcrafted growth chart. New parents always appreciate receiving gifts from their registry, but sometimes unexpected gifts like these can be a pleasant surprise.
18. Self-Care Kit
After labor and delivery, the new mom will need lots of extra care and attention. A gift basket or tote bag full of practical items for her recovery or breastfeeding journey can be a nice way to show her a little extra love.
For her recovery, consider items like Dermoplast Spray, Rachel’s Remedy Down There Relief Packs, soothing lotions or creams, a nice water bottle, magazines, and maybe even some gourmet coffee for her to enjoy.
To help her prepare for breastfeeding, gift her some nursing essentials such as organic bamboo nursing pads, nipple cream, and a Haakaa—a silicone suction bottle that collects milk from the breast not in use while nursing, ensuring that every drop of liquid gold is saved for future feedings!
19. Gift Cards
It can be really difficult to complete household tasks like cooking and cleaning when you have a newborn to tend to. A gift card for a restaurant, cleaning service, or comfy clothes can be a lifesaver during those early months with a baby.
Another option sure to delight any new mom is a gift card to a spa or nail salon. She’ll cherish getting a few hours to herself for pampering purposes only. Some movie tickets or a gift card to a favorite store would work great too!
20. Comfortable Postpartum Clothing
Most moms live in soft, stretchy clothing for the first few months post-delivery (and sometimes long after that). These Kindred Bravely favorites would be a hit at any shower:
- The Organic Cotton Maternity & Nursing Tank can be paired with any pants or leggings and works great underneath the Maya Nursing Wrap Cardigan, which can be worn draped open or buttoned.
- The Angelina Nightgown is luxuriously soft and can be worn at any stage, pregnant or postpartum; it’s a practical piece for frequent nursing sessions that also doubles as a cute, casual dress!
- A classy, buttery soft pair of pajamas like the Davys will ensure comfort. Add in a pair of these cute, non-skid socks for head-to-toe coziness.
The Perfect Baby Shower Gift
Nobody likes having a stockpile of items that take up space but don’t get used. Instead of aimlessly perusing the myriad of baby-related items out there, go with something on this list for a sure victory. Additionally, your thoughtful gift will convey something more important than any tangible gift—your support. When it comes to parenting, encouragement and help from others can mean the most of all.